Jon Michael Galindo

~ writing, programming, art ~

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18 August 2015

New Man

Much of the sci-fi world features brain-computer interfaces. If we could download, alter, and erase memories, what might we do with it? What if you erased all a man's memories? What would he become? This is the concept behind "neural renormalization".

New Man (excerpt)

Clean light washed the floor and ceiling. A figure in white spoke gently, melodically.

“Welcome back, Mr. Cole.”

A stranger slowly rose from his chair. Stiff muscles resisted his every move. “Am I Cole?”

The figure, whom he now discerned to be a middle-aged woman, replied disarmingly. “Yes, although the name may sound unfamiliar. Do you know where you are?”

Cole noticed featureless walls, no windows, no door. “I can’t say I do.” Something nagged at his memory.

The figure smiled. “Don’t be alarmed. You were brought to us following a neural renormalization.”

Cole’s heart quickened; one fist clenched unconsciously. “Renormalization. You mean execution?”

A hint of sadness dampened the lovely figure’s smile. “Not necessarily. In rare cases, people have been known to elect renormalization rather than endure traumatic memories. It doesn’t matter.” She stepped closer. “Whoever you were, whatever you did or went through, it’s gone now.” She took another step, resting one hand on Cole’s shoulder. “You are reborn.”


You might think that the ability to live alone would make crime a thing of the past. It might not. There is still loneliness. Regardless, I've seldom used isolation as a penitentiary sentence in my fictional societies. Cole has to deal with someone; he has a chance to recommit his crimes.

Cole is not the first of my characters to undergo renormalization, but by the end his old persona does seem to manifest more than others have.

Perhaps I put too much stock in nature by creating him; but, honestly, who knows what memories feed?

Maybe Cole's incurable case of social incompatability exists today.

© Jon Michael Galindo 2015